Love for the Anti Hero
Posted September 25, 2010on:
Thinking about the books and TV shows and and literary characters that top my list of favorites, I quickly realized an unsettling pattern. I have a major weakness for antiheroes. You know, the folks who do the right thing when they happen to feel like it? Be them tragic, scarred, bitter, jaded, orphaned and left to their own devices, or led by questionable morals, that is what gets my attention and that is what I gravitate towards.You hurt them, they’ll hurt ya back, you hurt someone they care about, they’ll kill you slowly. Broken noses are good, broken hearts and souls are better. I’m talking the likes of Elric of Melnibone, Vlad Taltos, Mal Reynolds, Locke Lamora, Hellboy, Han Solo, Donnie Darko, most Noir protagonists, and just about any character Joe Abercrombie or Neal Stephenson saw fit to put to paper along with just about any character Bruce Willis has ever played.
Yikes, what does that say about me?
I’m not tragic, I’m not scarred, bitter or orphaned, I lead a very happy life. You’d probably barf in your mouth a little if I told you how wonderful my life was. Seriously, it’s happened.
Why do I want to read about people who are so flawed? So deeply flawed that they walk headfirst into danger, will steal from you as likely as help you, act without thinking, generally act like an asshole most of the time, and defend what they care about with their last dying breath, and will usually run away from a fight if given the opportunity. Antiheroes don’t get mad, they get even. They might be redeemed, they might not. Well, except for the danger, stealing and some of melodrama, it sounds a little like the darker parts of myself that I’d rather not face. I act with out thinking, and can be an utter asshole some of the time. Ok, make that most of the time.
Antiheroes are not perfect. They don’t always know the right thing to do, but they give it everything they’ve got. They rally to their friends, and don’t let their fear show. when it matters, they do the right thing.
I am not perfect. I rarely know the right thing to do, but whatever I choose to do, I passionately I give it everything I’ve got. You hurt me, I’ll probably cry and get angry. Your hurt my friends, I’ll skip the getting mad part and go right to the revenge part. I rally to my friends, and they are the only ones who see my fears.
And that, my friends, is why I love an antihero. Or at least part of why I love antiheroes.